Freshman defensive tackle Josh Belk announced his intent to transfer from the program today. Belk enrolled in campus this January a semester early to participate in spring practice. Belk had earned the praise of his coaches during Spring drills and registered a tackle for the Orange team in the annual Spring scrimmage. Belk released this statement on his Twitter account today:
I will be transferring from Clemson University. I appreciate the Clemson staff, fans and Coaching staff. Thanks to Coach Swinney for the opportunity. Nothing bad to say about the University and my time there. Just feel that it’s the best decision for my family and I. #GodsPlan pic.twitter.com/sk2t1KgvVL— Josh Belk (@jbelk50) May 16, 2018
Belk was rated as a four star prospect out of Richburg, South Carolina. He chose Clemson over Florida State, NC State, South Carolina, North Carolina, and LSU. Reports say that Belk’s release will be unrestricted and he could end up transferring to South Carolina. Dabo Swinney had this to say:
Belk is the third defensive tackle to leave the program during the offseason. Senior Jabril Robinson announced his intent to transfer after graduating and will play for West Virginia this upcoming season. Sophomore Sterling Johnson is also transferring, but has not chosen a destination yet.
With these transfers, the Tigers will be playing with just 79 scholarship players (excluding walk-ons who earn scholarships). That’s bound to cause depth issues, but Clemson still has passable depth along the defensive line. Behind the four elite starters, the Tigers still have a handful of defensive ends ready to contribute: Chris Register, Justin Foster, Richard Yeargin, Logan Rudolph, Xavier Kelly, and Xavier Thomas. At defensive tackle it is a bit thinner with Nyles Pinckney, Albert Huggins, Jordan Williams and Darnell Jefferies as the viable options behind the starters. This depth concerns QuackingTiger:
The transfer of Belk really hurts Clemson's depth and it means that Clem was short 6 scholarships in the 2018 class(could've signed 6 more players to get the roster to 85). DT depth also suffers w/the transfer of Johnson and Belk. Next yr Clem will only have 3 DTs w/playing exp.— QuackingTiger (@QuackingTiger) May 16, 2018
Expect a larger than usual group of DT commitments in the upcoming recruiting class.